International Journal of Special Education 2001, Vol 16, No.2.
INSTRUMENTAL ENRICHMENT AS A VEHICLE FOR TEACHERS IN IMPLEMENTING OUTCOMES BASED EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA Mervyn Skuy Sandra Young Achmat Ajam Peter Fridjhon University of the Witwatersrand and Lilian Lomofsky University of the Western Cape The new political dispensation in South Africa has replaced the content-oriented, rote-learning based curriculum of the previous regime with an Outcomes Based Education (OBE) approach. OBE is compatible with the developments in cognitive education in general, and with Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment (IE) thinking skills programme in particular. Accordingly, this study investigated the effectiveness of involving teachers in an IE programme in improving their ability to implement OBE in their schools. Eighteen teachers from four schools catering for historically disadvantaged black students participated in the programme over a period of eighteen months (58 school weeks). Teachers were trained in the application of the IE programme itself, and in the infusion of its cognitive principles and strategies in their subject content and goals. Findings suggested the usefulness of an IE-based programme in providing teachers with the appropriate attitudes and skills for implementing the Outcomes Based Education approach with students who have special educational needs.
Consonant with its apartheid policy, education under the previous regime in South Africa emphasised compliance, conformity and passive absorption of information. To a large extent, school curricula reflected the perspective of the South Africa minority group in 1
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SKUY ET AL. INSTRUMENTAL ENRICHMENT IN A SOUTH AFRICAN SETTING country’s teachers are inadequately prepared for the implementation of OBE (Cape Times, 1998). Moreover, in the light of the previous oppressive and sterile education system, the question arises of whether the teachers who have lived and been trained under the system themselves necessarily have the cognitive tools for higher order (metacognitive) thinking, let alone for implementing a curriculum which develops their students’ thinking ability. From the viewpoint of directions in psychological theory, OBE is compatible with the cognitive approach to education, in terms of which the provision of approaches for the development of systematic ways of thinking and problem solving are central (Haywood, 1990; Samuels and Price, 1992). Cognitive education stresses cognitive and social modifiability, metacognition and the education of intellectual and other processes. These approaches and goals are seen as relevant to all learners, including those with special needs. Feuerstein’s (1979) theory of structural cognitive modifiability, and the thinking skills programme of Instrumental Enrichment (IE) derived from it, epitomise and are central to the philosophy of cognitive education. The IE programme comprises fourteen paper and pencil instruments, each of which focuses on a different cognitive operation. Each Instrument comprises a range of exercises which serve to enhance cognitive functions and to create insight. The Instruments are designed for maximal intensic motivation, and serve as a vehicle for the implementation of the criteria and principles of mediated learning experience (Feuerstein, 1979). IE can be used as a vehicle to empower teachers to become active listeners as a first and necessary step to enabling them to transform their students into active learners. This structured and systematic programme aims at fostering autonomous learning and thinking ability and the enhancement of cognitive and metacognitive functions. Central to this programme is Feuerstein’s construct of mediated learning experience (MLE) which not only provides an explanation of the conditions under which optimal learning occurs, but also specifies the dimensions of the teacher-student interaction required for optimal cognitive and socioemotional learning (Feuerstein, 1979; Feuerstein and Feuerstein 1991; Skuy, 1997). The IE programme and its underlying construct of MLE provide teachers with the ability to develop a mediational, interactive style of teaching which promotes higher levels of thinking, reasoning and communication amongst students (Silverman and Waxman, 1988). The mediator can foster the development of reflective learning in a student by modelling planning behaviour, and directing him/her to set his/her own learning objectives, which will facilitate the achievement of specified outcomes. Moreover, IE is a cognitive and metacognitive programme where the concepts or cognitive operations from the Instruments are bridged into all subjects/learning areas, and which provides a cognitive foundation for teachers and students who will be exposed to OBE. 3
power and the imposition of its educational and cultural ideals. Moreover, the black South African majority (constituting over 80% of the population) was sociopolitically and educationally disadvantaged and disempowered. In 1994, with the first democratic South African election, the policy of apartheid was dismantled, and the transformation of the society had formally begun. As part of the farreaching political, social and economic changes aimed at an egalitarian and viable, healthy society, the new political dispensation has replaced the previous education policy with a constructivist, Outcomes Based Education (OBE) approach. Based on the OBE curriculum originating in the USA and developed in other countries (e.g. Schwartz and Cavener, 1994; Spady, 1994) the Outcomes in OBE refer to the knowledge, skills, values and/or attitudes that an individual is expected to demonstrate in a given learning situation at the end of each learning process. OBE focuses on the processes necessary for learners to achieve these outcomes. The transformational OBE has, as its guiding vision, the production of self-directed learners with the ability to solve problems. The new system, in contrast to the traditional curriculum, develops the teacher’s capacity to respond to diversity in student’s needs and learning rates, and is designed to meet special needs. The system is based on the belief that all children can learn successfully. Learners are actively involved in their own learning, and flexibility of teaching style and content is stressed. Thus, the interactional nature of teaching is central to the approach. Among the goals for both teachers and students is that they become analytical and creative thinkers, problem solvers and communicators, who can gather and organise information and conduct research. Thus, the teacher’s role changes from being a transmitter of knowledge to a mediator and facilitator of learning, while the expectation for the student changes from a passive receiver of knowledge to an autonomous learner, reflective thinker and problem solver, who is actively involved in his/her own learning and construction of knowledge. Instead of encouraging learners to conform, their individuality is respected, creativity is encouraged and self-concept is enhanced. Cross-curricular teaching is emphasised, and various subjects are integrated. The aim is to prepare students for the information age and technologically oriented society; and learning is viewed as holistic and takes into account the total person, by promoting his/her physical, social, emotional cognitive and spiritual development and well being. In other countries, for example the USA (Spady, 1994) OBE is adopted by those school districts which opt for it and who determine their own outcomes. In contrast to this, OBE has been declared national policy in South Africa. The intention is to gradually phase in the approach, referred to as Curriculum 2005, over the seven years from 1999-2005. However, on the face of this, the South African authorities have acknowledged that the 2
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SKUY ET AL. INSTRUMENTAL ENRICHMENT IN A SOUTH AFRICAN SETTING In the light of the concordance of Feuerstein’s theory and approach with the goals of OBE, and taking cognisance of the positive findings obtained with the IE programme in South Africa and elsewhere, this study aimed to develop IE and MLE as a vehicle for the effective implementation, within the South African education system, of the OBE approach. Accordingly, this study documents the design and implementation of an IE training and intervention programme for teachers, with explicit links to the implementation of OBE in the classroom. This study also evaluated the responses and responsiveness of teachers to this approach. Further, since the adoption of OBE is based inter alia on its perceived ability to cater to all students, including those with special needs, it is important that teachers’ belief systems reflect this. Since Instrumental Enrichment and the theory upon which it is based fosters a belief in the modifiability of all learners, an improvement in teacher’s attitudes to weaker students was expected. Method Sample The study was conducted in the greater Cape Town area where the majority of the population (about 54%) are people of mixed race who were officially classified as Coloured by the apartheid regime. Considering that this population group comprises only about 10% of the South African population, this reflects a significant concentration of the coloured community (about 40% of its total). The Coloured community, created by apartheid structures in the country, was severely sociopolitically and economically disadvantaged. The four schools in this community initially included in the project thus had student populations of largely low socio-economic status. The fifth school originally included in the project was representative of the historically sociopolitically disadvantaged, oppressed, low socio-economic status African majority. This school is situated in a township originally set aside for and thus inhabited almost totally by Africans. While the African population comprises about 70% of the total South African population, it constitutes only about 19% of the greater Cape Town area. The project was affected by the general upheaval in the South African school system, which had particularly disruptive influence on certain of the schools in the original sample, resulting in principal and teacher retrenchments and redeployments. Thus the full programme and study were completed in only three of the original four Coloured schools, as well as in the African school. Moreover, Many of the teachers who were trained either resigned or were retrenched before the project was completed. Of the original 37 teachers from the five schools who were trained in Instrumental Enrichment (IE), 18 continued in the project, four at Coloured school A, five at school B, three at school C and six at the African school (D). The teachers at schools A,B & C were themselves Coloured, while the teachers at school D were themselves African. (This is the 5
The bridging component of IE helps to facilitate the integration of different subject matter around a common principle. Again, as a relatively content free programme which emphasises process, IE serves to model the provision of opportunities for students to contribute diverse content from their own experiences, and encourages flexibility in terms of learning style and curricular goals. Considerable research has been conducted on IE, and Burden (1990) draws attention to the existence of over 300 studies which document various positive aspects of the programme, and concludes that, despite the various justifiable criticisms, the cumulative, large scale evidence is irrefutable (p.83). More recent studies of IE have increasingly addressed themselves to various issues and variables considered by Burden to have been neglected (e.g. Howie, Richards and Pirihi, 1993; Skuy, Mentis, Durbach, Cockcroft, Fridjhon and Mentis, 1995; Tzuriel and Alfassi, 1994). A study by Kozulin, Kaufman and Lurie (1997) found that IE was effective for Ethiopian immigrants in Israel, and that changes in their cognitive and school performance were obtained, depending upon an interaction between the following factors: the level of support for IE intervention provided by the school; the level of initial cognitive performance; the quality of teacher mediation; and the systematic application of the IE programme. These findings support those of studies done in South Africa, which have yielded success under various conditions using different models of IE intervention in combination with other approaches; (Skuy, Mentis, Nkwe and Arnott, 1990; Skuy et al., 1995; Skuy, Goldstein, Mentis and Fridjhon, 1997). The latter study by Skuy et al. (1998) demonstrated that the mediation of certain cognitive operations and exercises from the IE programme, in conjunction with the implementation of Hoopes’ (1979) model of crosscultural development and multicultural education, resulted in an enhanced interest in contact with other cultures, a decrease in stereotyping of others and a feasible basis for a cognitive-developmental approach to intercultural coexistence. Again, in the study by Skuy et al. (1995), the provision of IE for primary school students, combined with the concurrent provision to their teachers of training in MLE and of curriculum packages embodying IE concepts, was effective in improving the cognitive functioning and creativity of different cultural groups, particularly the most deprived, African group. This last finding was consistent with the view expressed by Adams (1989) that for markedly below average students IE is uniquely appropriate and effective (p.75). Among the studies which have been conducted on IE in South Africa, are those which have documented its positive effects on teachers and their education. In one such study (Skuy, Lomofsky, Green and Fridjhon, 1993) pre-service teachers from a disadvantaged community who had an IE-based programme incorporated into their training, demonstrated significant improvements, compared to a control group, in cognitive functioning and reading comprehension, self confidence and lesson planning ability. 4
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SKUY ET AL. INSTRUMENTAL ENRICHMENT IN A SOUTH AFRICAN SETTING cognitive processing and of how to develop metacognitive and self-regulated thinking in their own students’ mediated learning. Further, due to historic racial separation of state schools, the workshop afforded teachers who had cultural and linguistic differences, the opportunity to work together, to share classroom experiences and lesson planning. Following the initial three months (12 week) training period, IE was implemented for the rest of that academic year (for three terms or 21 weeks) and for most of the following academic year (a further 25 weeks). Within the constraints of school timetables and practical difficulties, teachers attempted to implement the programme as a systematic, structured and integral part of the timetable in Grades 1-7 at each of the schools which continued in the project. Two IE periods per week were generally allocated for each class during school hours. Further, the cognitive principles and concepts learned during the IE lessons were bridged and infused into all subject teaching lessons. The teachers adopted a mediational teaching style in teaching IE lessons as well as regular class teaching. Two accredited IE trainers met weekly with the group of participating teachers at each school to provide ongoing input and support. These sessions focussed on reviewing important principals from each Instrument, and modelling lessons for the teachers’ lesson planning and bridging which they could apply to their own students. The supervisors also observed and monitored lessons in the classroom, and provided feedback and reflection on the implementation by the teachers. This programme of intervention for the teachers is further elaborated in the section below. Programme of Intervention The intervention programme enabled the teachers to serve both as the targets and the agents of change. Thus, the teachers were assisted in improving their own cognitive functioning and use of strategies, while at the same time being provided with and made competent in a model of cognitive education for their students. The intervention was provided for the teachers in two stages. The direct approach was implemented in the first three months, when the trainers mediated cognitive operations and strategies to teachers by means of the Instruments of the IE programme. Once the strategy was identified, there was directed application of the cognitive operation and skill in as many subject domains as possible. This step (Step 1) consisted of developing a thinking skill in isolation by means of IE, followed by the application of that skill in a selected context. The mediator/trainer still managed the learning process at this stage, ensuring that the new knowledge was in place and that both the skill and application thereof in a specific situation was being mastered. 7
Twelve of the eighteen teachers were in possession of a teacher’s diploma, while six had postgraduate teaching qualifications. Ten had taught for more than ten years, three for between six and ten years and five for between one and six years. All were elementary school teachers, teaching within the range of Grades 1-7. The twelve teachers from the historically Coloured schools were proficient in both English and Afrikaans. The latter is the Dutch-derived language spoken by most Coloured people in South Africa (in common with the formerly dominant sector of the white minority), and was thus the medium of instruction at these schools. The six teachers from the African school spoke Xhosa (one of the official South African languages) as well as English. As is the case in African schools generally, the language of instruction in the lower grades (Grades 1-3) was the vernacular, and in the higher grades, English. Procedure Five schools, representative of their respective communities, were approached and given presentations regarding the relevance of cognitive education to the planned national implementation of the OBE curriculum. At a combined meeting of the teachers and school principals each of the schools opted to be part of the project and were included in all decision making regarding the basis for the implementation of the project in their respective schools. The overall procedure adopted was as follows: An Instrumental Enrichment training workshop was attended by each of the five school principals and teachers from primary grades 1-7 of each school. The school principals were included in an effort to ensure that appropriate leadership and motivation were provided for the teachers and their implementation of the project in each of the schools. The IE training workshop was spread out over a period of three months. There was an initial one day introduction during a school vacation, and thereafter the participants attended training sessions weekly after school hours in order to complete the 40 required hours for accreditation. This culminated in a final session for lesson presentations and a certification ceremony. Seven of the fourteen IE instruments (namely, Organisation of Dots, Comparisons, Orientation in Space, Categorisation, Analytic Perception, Family Relations and Illustrations), were presented during the course of the three month training period. During the workshops, many opportunities were provided for the teachers to bridge the concepts and principles from the pages of the Instruments of the IE programme into their own personal and social contexts as well as into school subjects. This gave them a foundation upon which to develop critical and creative thinking and problem solving skills which are compatible with the anticipated outcomes for the national curriculum. Metacognition was also emphasised in making the participants aware of their own 6
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SKUY ET AL. INSTRUMENTAL ENRICHMENT IN A SOUTH AFRICAN SETTING During the second half of the programme, the intensity and frequency of mediation was withdrawn and sessions were held weekly, with teachers being expected to contribute an increasing amount of the application of cognitive principles in their subject domain, and to illustrate the modification of subjects domains to meet cognitive goals. Measures 1. Attitudes towards the Characteristics of Less Academic Pupils Scale (Blagg, 1991). Using this scale, Blagg (1991) found that, after training in and implementation of IE, teachers were significantly more optimistic about certain characteristics of low achievers than a matched group of control teachers. Before, and again after the training/intervention, teachers in this study were given a modified version of the Scale. The Scale comprises 18 pairs of statements each separated by seven positions along a continuum. For each item, there is a negative statement about academically less able students at one side of the continuum and, at the other side, a positive statement. The respondent selects a position along the continuum for each item/pair of statements, reflecting his/her attitude. In each case, a score of zero to six is awarded, depending on the position along the scale that the respondent ticked. The closer to the positive pole the response, the higher the score. 2. Teacher Feedback Questionnaire. After the period of intervention, teachers were asked to individually and anonymously complete a Feedback Questionnaire. The questionnaire comprised eight open-ended questions in which the teachers were asked to indicate, respectively, their perceptions of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for learning, difficulties and shortcomings of the IE programme and its implementation. They were also asked to provide explicit comments on the opportunities for learning and application afforded by the IE programme, as well as to specify the principles and concepts from the Instruments that they applied in teaching their subjects. Finally, they were asked whether they learned anything from the IE programme which they did not know before. A qualitative analysis of teacher responses was undertaken. Results On the Attitudes towards Characteristics of Less Academic Pupils Scale, the pre-test mean for the group of teachers involved in the programme was 71.3 (Std Devn= 9.5) and the post-test mean was 77.1 (Std Devn=11.6). A t-test for matched groups, administered to compare these pre and post test results, yielded a significant mean change (t(17) = 2.6; p<.01). This represented a significant overall improvement in the attitudes to academically weaker students on the part of those teachers who were involved in the IE programme. A Sign Test (Siegal, 1956) was applied to the sample’s pre and post test results on the Scale to determine on which items the number of subjects demonstrating positive change 9
Step 2 involved the cognitive apprenticeship (Rogoff, 1990). Once the pre-knowledge had been established, the mediator embarked upon a careful process of apprenticeship with the teachers, providing a scaffold for the new skills, allowing the process to become strong and then removing the scaffold until the teachers could apply the thinking skill autonomously. This process consisted of the following steps: 1. Modelling and verbalising the required behaviour/implementing the thinking skills in a structured sequence; 2. Initiating the required behaviour, then continuing on the learner’s suggestions, monitoring and mediating all along; 3. Initiating the required behaviour and expecting the learner to complete the task; 4. Posing a problem that requires the practiced thinking skill(s) and allowing the learner to solve it unassisted, while verbalising the process. If the learner had explored all avenues and was still unsuccessful, the mediator could guide the process; 5. Repeating the above procedure in a group with peer tutoring and intervention; Once this process was completed for all the required skills, the scaffold was removed completely. The mediator no longer intervened, and the tasks were no longer selected and grouped according to the strategies required, but were tackled as and when the subject material was prescribed. At that stage the underlying thinking skills were internalized and the learner would have developed the procedural knowledge to be able to control the task and organize the problem solving process. Thus, after the teachers had received the initial training in IE, ongoing supervision and support were provided to achieve the following goals: 1. To ensure that the IE programme was effectively run in the classroom. 2. To enable teachers to identify the thinking skills required to complete a given task. 3. To enable teachers to modify existing subject material so that this material would provide opportunities for the development of various thinking skills. During the weekly training sessions, the scaffolding phase was carried out. IE lessons were modelled and their objectives were clearly identified. Teachers were expected to present these lessons to their respective classes during the one week period before the next weekly workshop. Then, during the following workshop, the outcome (objective) of the previous IE lesson was applied within the other subjects’ domains. This was aimed at preparing teachers to adapt existing resources by being able to identify the cognitive principles to be used in performing a task. Teachers had to bring examples of the material that they were using in class. The trainer/mediator would discuss the content with teachers, and possible approaches to bridge and apply the cognitive outcome of the IE lesson would be explored, thus using existing materials but modifying the approach to suit the cognitive focus. 8
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SKUY ET AL. INSTRUMENTAL ENRICHMENT IN A SOUTH AFRICAN SETTING 1. Strengths of the Programme All teachers identified strengths in the programme, and common themes running through their descriptions were: IE’s flexibility; its relevance to all school subjects; its usefulness for subject integration; its empowerment of pupils. Specific comments included, inter alia, the following: assists with integration of subjects; empowers pupils to critically analyse statements, and plan ; it enriches learners, gives them options at the starting point of bridging; a good place to start from in lesson preparation. Further, it encourages confidence and involvement of pupils. Again, certain teachers stated that IE enabled learners to experience fun while learning, and others stated that it helps learners to develop to their full potential. 2. Difficulties associated with the implementation of the programme Twelve of the eighteen teachers identified difficulties. Most of those believed IE to be time consuming, and a common theme was the time constraints and extra workload involved in preparation and/or administration of the programme, and its difficulty in being placed within the school timetable. Difficulties were also experienced by some in integrating principles of IE in the curriculum. Certain teachers stated that the success of IE depends on the training received by the teacher concerned. Actual comments made include the following: school periods were not systematically/regularly allocated to it; there is a need to concentrate more on daily teaching; too time consuming; lack of time to prepare IE lessons; teachers have a problem with writing IE lessons. 3. Opportunities for learning All teachers regarded IE as providing opportunities for learning, and some 24 reasons were given for this response. Teachers also considered the IE programme a good basis on which to conduct continuous assessment – as required by OBE. Most of the teachers believed that IE’s emphasis on thinking skills fostered creative thinking, logical thinking, task analysis and, metacognition. Furthermore, teachers believed that IE enabled children to learn at their own pace, thus promoting competence. Some of the comments included the following: Encourages flexibility in thinking in different directions; enables all to participate; students are likely to think for themselves, to be more creative and to share opinions; the weaker pupils are given more time and feel good; it contains no subject matter, and therefore provides opportunities for students to contribute from their own experiences; the approach does not generate anxiety in students. 4. Use in lessons of the principles and concepts from the Instruments Most teachers applied the principles and concepts from the Instruments in their subject lessons. Beyond this, a number of teachers documented their use of subject matter from their own subject areas as a means to teach their student such skills as accurate 11
was significant. Although it is a relatively crude measure of change, the Sign Test is useful for small sample studies in which quantitative measurement is not feasible. The outcome of this statistical procedure is presented in Table 1 below. Table 1
Items reflecting significant teacher group change after intervention on the Attitudes to the Characteristics of Less Academic Pupils Scale
Level of significance (p) *
Less academic pupils are difficult to teach → are easy to teach Less academic pupils tend to not be interested in learning → desperately want to learn Less academic pupils have mainly themselves to blame for their lack of success → owe their lack of success to circumstances beyond their control Less academic pupils have nothing to teach me → have something to teach me Less academic pupils cannot generalise what they have learnt → are perfectly capable of generalising what they have learnt Less academic pupils gain a limited amount from my lessons → gain a great deal from my lessons Note: n = 18*
Based on the outcome of the Sign Test
As Table 1 shows, a significant number of teachers changed their attitudes in a positive direction on a number of items on the scale. They felt more positive about the less academic pupils in relation to their learning ability and their ability to generalise, and felt more confident about their own ability to teach these students. Responses by the 18 participating teachers on each of the questions of the Feedback Questionnaire, administered at the end of the programme, are summarised below. 10
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SKUY ET AL. INSTRUMENTAL ENRICHMENT IN A SOUTH AFRICAN SETTING these teachers have had minimal training in relation to OBE. However, in spite of this admission, there appears to be insufficient cognisance of the need for teachers themselves to improve their own thinking skills and to increase their commitment to the development of the thinking of others, before OBE can succeed. As Williams and Burden (1998) point out, ..merely altering the syllabus is not in itself sufficient in promoting change….it is the way in which teachers methodologically mediate the curriculum which is significant, (p.193). In the present study, the role that Instrumental Enrichment and mediation can play in providing a framework, both for enhancing teachers’ own thinking skills and for facilitating their application of these skills within their current curricula, has been illustrated. The finding that teachers became more positive towards weaker students, and developed more confidence in their modifiability and in their capacity for benefiting from education, supports the importance of this approach to teacher preparation for implementing OBE. For, if OBE is to be effective in providing optimal education for all pupils, including the vast majority of historically disadvantaged students, teachers will have to actually believe in their ability to educate such students. Moreover, with the introduction of the government’s Inclusion policy, hand in hand with OBE, teachers will have to cope with a great diversity of educational needs within their classrooms. An important outcome of this and other studies in which a form of IE has been implemented, is the motivation generated among teachers for using the programme and its principles of teaching. However, without the active support of administrators and policy makers the success of IE will be limited. As Haywood (1990) has pointed out, for IE or any other cognitively based programme to be effective, its philosophy and methodology need to pervade the system. The positive results achieved with IE, as well as the logic contained in the notion that the approaches developed within the spheres of cognitive education and cognitive psychology are needed to make the ideal of OBE a reality, may provide the impetus for the education authorities to promote the adoption of this and comparable cognitive methodologies in education. In this way, both the attitudes and the tools for implementing the OBE approach could be inculcated among teachers. Finally, in this study a model was provided which demonstrated that a combined add-on and infusion model of thinking skills development can be provided in a school, by equipping teachers (and students) both with IE (i.e. the add-on dimension) and with the expertise to link subject matter with cognitive principles and goals (that is, their infusion within the curriculum). Instilling thinking skills in association with OBE could be seen as an antidote to a situation where OBE becomes simply another perspective approach, 13
comparison and the importance of perspective. In this way, teachers illustrated that they had benefited from the scaffolding, an aim of which was to re-orient teachers to applying their subject content to the achievement of cognitive goals or thinking skills. 5. New learning afforded to teachers by the IE programme Seventeen out of the eighteen teachers responded that they had learned something new from the IE programme. Most teachers learned that the principles and concepts of IE can be applied across the curriculum; and that subjects can be linked. Many teachers learned that tasks can be tackled more effectively and easily through critical thinking, planning and metacognition. Teachers came to see the value and methods of bridging; the fact that a single programme can be used on a number of levels to match the ability of particular learners; certain teachers commented on the integration between learning and values afforded by the approach. One teacher commented that given the right tools, a teacher can make a difference to the quality of pupils’ thinking; another stated that the elements of IE are diverse, flexible, innovative and imaginative; while another added that it provides a framework for assisting slow learners. A number of the teachers recommended that IE should be introduced to all schools and several teachers commented explicitly that the concepts and principles are similar to those of OBE. Discussion The implementation of this project took place against a backdrop of situational constraints and problems, which are typical of the current education system in South Africa. The economic and administrative problems are largely the result of the educational disadvantage and administrative ineptitude spawned by the apartheid policy. The need to rationalise resources, to retrench teachers, and to redeploy others in more disadvantaged areas has led to a great deal of acrimony, tension and resentment. These factors led to some attrition, inasmuch as the original five schools were reduced to four and within the remaining schools some of the IE-trained teachers left after starting the programme. Further, within the participating schools, there was some disruption in the teacher workshops and in the implementation of the IE in the classrooms. Notwithstanding these difficulties, a viable programme was designed and implemented at schools representative of those in both the Coloured and the African communities. Among the problems facing the new South African government is the fact that their commitment to the cognitively-oriented Outcomes Based Education (OBE) is not matched by the preparedness of the teachers for its implementation. The education authorities have admitted that they have been unable to adequately prepare teachers, and have noted that 12
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SKUY ET AL. INSTRUMENTAL ENRICHMENT IN A SOUTH AFRICAN SETTING Silverman, H., & Waxman, M. (1988). Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment:Elicitation of cognitive interaction in the classroom. Canadian Journal of Special Education, 4, 133150. Skuy, M. (1997). Crosscultural and interdimensional applications of Feuerstein’s construct of mediated learning experience. School Psychology International, 18, 119-135. Skuy, M., Goldstein, I., Mentis, M., & Fridjhon, P. (1997). A cognitive approach to promoting multicultural awareness and co-existence in the classroom. Journal of Cognitive Education, 6, 47-56. Skuy, M., Lomofsky, L., Green, L., & Fridjhon, P. (1993). Effectiveness of Instrumental Enrichment for pre-service teachers in a disadvantaged South African community. International Journal of Cognitive Education and Mediated Learning, 2, 92-108. Skuy, M., Mentis. M., Durbach, F., Cockcroft, K., Fridjhon, P., & Mentis, M. (1995). Crosscultural comparison of effects of Instrumental Enrichment on children in a South African mining town. School Psychology International, 16, 263-279. Skuy, M ., Mentis, M., Nkwe, I., & Arnott, A. (1990). Combining Instrumental Enrichment and creativity/socioemotional development for disadvantaged gifted adolescents in Soweto : Part 2. International Journal of Cognitive Education and Mediated Learning, 1, 93 - 102. Spady, W. G. ( 1994). Outcome-Based Education: Critical issues and answers. Arlington, Virginia: American Association of School Administrators. Tzuriel, D., & Alfassi, M. (1994). Cognitive and motivational modifiability as a function of the Instrumental Enrichment (IE) program. Special Services in the Schools, 8,91-128. Williams, M., & Burden, R. (1998). Pulling it together: The challenge for the educator. In R. Burden & M. Williams (Eds.), Thinking through the curriculum (pp. 189-197). London: Routledge.
where teachers are trained in the provision of a specific set of outcomes, without opportunities for learning how to develop their own curricula and goals, based on the needs and characteristics of their students. References Adams, M.J. (1989). Thinking skills criteria:Their promise and progress. Educational Psychology, 24, 25-77. Blagg, N. (1991). Can we teach intelligence? A comprehensive evaluation of Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment program. New Jersey:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Burden, R.L. (1990). Whither research on Instrumental Enrichment? Some suggestions for future action. International Journal of Cognitive Education and Mediated Learning, 1, 8386. Cape Times (June 25th 1998). Curriculum defective but remains on track. Feuerstein, R. (1979). The dynamic assessment of retarded performers. Baltimore, MD:University Park Press. Feuerstein, R.,& Feuerstein, S. (1991). Mediated learning experience:A theoretical review. In R.Feuerstein, P.Klein & A.Taaenbaum (Eds.), Mediated learning experience:Theoretical, psychological and learning implications. (pp.3-52). London:Freund Publishing House. Haywood, H.C. (1990). A total cognitive approach in education : Enough bits and pieces. The Thinking Teacher, 5, 1-6. Hoopes, D. (1979). Intercultural communication, concepts and psychology of intercultural experiences. In M.D.Pusch (Ed.), Multicultural education : A crosscultural training approach (pp.115-152). Yarmouth, Maine, USA : Intercultural Press. Howie, D.R., Richards,R. & Pirihi, H. (1993). Teaching thinking skills to Maori adolescents. International Journal of Cognitive Education and Mediated Learning, 3, 7091. Kozulin, A., Kaufman, R., & Lurie, L. (1997). Evaluation of cognitive intervention with immigrant students from Ethiopia. In A.Kozulin (Ed.), The ontogeny of cognitive modifiability (pp. 89-130). Jerusalem : ICELP & HWCRI. Rogoff, B. (1990). Apprenticeship in thinking : Cognitive development in social context. New York : Oxford University Press. Samuels, M. & Price, M.A. (1992). Changing teachers’ practice : Issues in cognitive education in service. In J.S.Carlson (Ed.), Advances in cognition and educational practice, Vol 1B (pp. 209-227). New Haven, CT : JAI Press. Schonell, F.T. (1956). The Schonell reading tests. Edinburgh : Oliver and Boyd. Schwartz, G., & Cavener, L. (1994). Outcome-Based Education and curriculum change:Advocacy, practice and critique. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 9, 326338. Siegal,S (1956). Nonparametric statistics for the behavioural sciences. New York:McGraw Hill.